ISLAMABAD: As the wedding season nears its end, the capital administration has decided to pull the cord on extravagant weddings.
The Supreme Court’s January 15 decision to allow only one dish at a wedding and ban unnecessary decoration will now be implemented in the capital as well.
The additional deputy commissioner and an assistant commissioner met the owners and managers of leading wedding halls and catering services in the city on Friday. However, the participants of the meeting failed to agree on a strategy to immediately implement the decision.
Authorities begin implementation of SC order
A participant of the meeting told Dawn that the managers and owners informed the authorities that while they respected the Supreme Court orders, they required some time to implement the rules.
“The managers and owners pleaded that bookings have been made and arrangements for food and decorations finalised, so changes at this stage would result in huge losses,” he said.
On the other hand, the authorities retorted that any food items and decorations which have been purchased could be returned. However, the caterers and wedding hall managers did not agree.
The meetings concluded without any agreement on a timeframe or strategy to implement the apex court orders. The participant added that another meeting would be held to finalise the decision.
Officials from the capital administration told Dawn that while the Supreme Court decision had been made on January 15, they received the orders last week.
The capital administration was asked by the court to inform the registrar office about the implementation of the order either on a weekly or fortnightly basis.
The court stated that only one main dish would be allowed at wedding ceremonies. Guests may be served a curry, rice, nan, one type of salad and yogurt.
In the first phase, the capital administration would be implementing the decision at weddings hosted at banquet halls, lawns and marquees in commercial areas.
The capital administration officials said the restriction would first be imposed on such commercial enterprises and later other businesses involved in decoration and catering would be asked to comply with the rules.
The officials said that while the order also applied to weddings taking place at private venues such as houses, farmhouses, open plots and grounds, the administration cannot trespass and will take action only if a complaint is received.
“We have to act sensibly. There are advance bookings for weddings at commercial venues and the menu is also decided at the time of booking.
“People also pay in advance. So an immediate implementation of the order will cause huge losses to the management at these venues,” said an official.
Clay Oven Event Management manager Umar Butt told Dawn that the restrictions would cause huge losses to his business.
Hanif Rajput, the catering manager of another wedding hall, said he was neither aware of the decision nor had been invited to the meeting.
He said customers made advance payments so such an abrupt restriction would affect his business.
Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2015